In the final installment of our three-part series of recruiting, we focus on the hiring process.
A quick recap of the interview process covered in the second installment, Part II, The Interview Process:
- Pre-screen qualified candidates to determine the best candidates for formal interviews
- Interview your top candidates – set-up, prepare and conduct the interview
- Schedule and conduct any necessary follow-up interviews with your top candidate and other key stakeholders in the organization
The Recruiting Process Flow Chart below is a reminder of the key steps.
Recruiting Process Flow Chart
The Hiring Process primarily involves the following:
Background and Reference Checks
Prepare and Make Offer
Set-Up New Hire for Success
As discussed in the interview installment, once you identify your top candidate, it is good practice to start discussions in the final interview regarding the next steps in the process. The next steps may include but are not limited to background checks, reference checks, drug testing (if applicable), compensation and benefits, and start date. Once again, it is important to continuously communicate and ensure certainty in the mind of the candidate.
Background Checks, References, and Drug Testing
Background Checks – Although you most likely performed your internet search for the candidate to determine what information exists regarding their personal and professional life, it is critical to perform a background check to validate any criminal activity or behavior. As property management professionals, we are primarily serving residents onsite and many times in their homes. Ensuring we protect the residents, their families, and their possessions is imperative, as is being confident our team members do not have any previous legal issues related to interacting with our stakeholders. Many third-party vendors perform the necessary background checks via local, regional and national databases. It is easy to set up an account, enter the candidate information, and receive results within 24-48 hours. You are required to have candidate consent, so develop a standard Background Check Form for the candidate to complete and execute so you are protected. Third-party vendors require candidate consent before performing the requested background check. Several levels of background checks exist, so research and understand what level and price point is most appropriate for your needs and the specific candidate.
References – Most candidates will submit references who will provide glowing reviews of the individual. Our job as recruiters is to ask the right questions to ‘pull’ information useful to our evaluation. You must be careful and aware of what questions you may or may not be able to ask, but asking questions related to knowledge, skill, and experience of the position are appropriate as well as interaction with colleagues and stakeholders.
Validating information provided on their resume and during the interview process is also acceptable. For example, confirming the number of properties and/or units managed, the type and locations of properties managed, the number of people managed, the performance of the properties, and the candidate’s level of competence related to compliance and other certifications or requirements. Always require at least three references – two of which will be professional references from current or past supervisors.
Drug Testing – This is a company-specific determination and may depend on the position. As a property management company, we require onsite staff to perform a drug test.
Many states currently allow certain drugs, such as marijuana, for medicinal and recreational use. Although it is still not legal at the federal level, each company must determine what they will allow for specific positions or team members. Many third-party vendors who facilitate the background checks also provide drug testing, so you may submit one order for background and drug testing options.
Prepare and Make Offer
Finalize Offer Details – Confirming the potential compensation package and benefits with the candidate during the final interview allows you to know if the candidate will accept employment if offered. Those conversations also allow you to know if you need to revise any aspect(s) of the offer and determine with any other stakeholders what, if anything, you can revise regarding the package. Always know your Best Alternative to No Agreement (BATNA) before starting the final negotiations with a candidate. Ensure you have any necessary internal approvals and are prepared to ‘close the deal’ when making the offer.
Conduct Offer Call – As discussed with previous calls and meetings, prepare a script and an agenda for the call. It is a best practice to conduct the call and present a verbal offer before anything is written and sent to the candidate. Be excited and enthusiastic when you make the call, so they know you want them to join the team. As you describe the offer, it is critical to discuss every aspect of the offer. There should be no uncertainty between you and the candidate regarding salary, bonuses, and incentives. If applicable, clarify offered benefits including health, dental, vision, 401k, vacation, holidays, and other benefit-related items in the offer specific. Other benefits may include vehicle or fuel allowance, company vehicle, or expense accounts. Once everything is discussed and agreed upon, ask for the ‘yes’ to confirm they accept the offer. Assuming the offer is accepted, describe the next steps in the process related to the written Offer Outline; an Employment Agreement and associated Confidentiality Agreement and Arbitration Agreement, if applicable; employment documents required such as I-9, W4, and Direct Deposit Forms; and confirm the start date.
Send Offer – Send a written, pdf version of the Offer Outline capturing every aspect of the offer discussed as agreed. Have the standard Offer Outline already crafted before the call, revise as needed, and send the same day the verbal offer is accepted. Typically, communications are electronic, so develop a standard email welcoming the new hire, re-iterating your excitement related to their joining the organization and wonderful opportunities ahead for them and the organization. Provide them instructions related to the completion and submission of the additional (required) documents.
Execute Employment Agreement – The full pdf version of the Employment Agreement will follow along with the associated documents. Prepare all these documents and facilitate their distribution, execution, and electronic storage. Provide your new hire an expectation regarding the date of execution and submission of the employment documents. Once you receive their executed documents, you will distribute the fully executed documents to the new hire. It is a best practice to have the new hire execute the documents first, and then your signatures follow. Validate that the new hire did not make any edits or revisions to their executed documents before your execution.
Set-Up New Hire for Success
You always want to do everything possible to set your new team member up for success, and preparing for their arrival is a great way to establish a professional, productive relationship. Ensure they have everything they need to do their job starting Day 1. Develop an orientation schedule, and plan to introduce them to your company culture and people effectively.
Develop Orientation Schedule – New employee orientation and onboarding is a great way to welcome your new team member, allow them to ‘settle in’ a little before full engagement into their work tasks, and introduce them to the mission, vision, and values as well as departments and people they will work with daily. The orientation schedule (i.e., number of days, events, and personnel introductions) is very dependent on the new team member position. Typically, for our regional and corporate property management staff, a more substantial schedule is developed over a few days. In contrast, the orientation schedule at the property site level is limited to specific team members and departments and focused on the property and its operations; however, the mission, vision, and values are always reviewed for every new team member. Lastly, it is a best practice to include social time in the orientation, such as breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner with different team members – this allows people to interact and get to know one another on a personal level and start to develop trusted relationships. Confirm dates and times with all participants, finalize orientation schedule, provide the orientation schedule to all participants and send calendar invites for each event to all respective participants. Send the orientation schedule to the new employee a few days in advance of their start day and welcome them again with excitement and enthusiasm…another opportunity to develop a standard orientation template and email script.
Prepare for New Employee – Determine what the organization needs to prepare for the new team member’s arrival, then discuss and decide how much time you and they need before effectively starting employment. Give yourselves and the new employee the appropriate time for you both to successfully start the relationship. Develop a standard list of items for onboarding and orientation. Items to consider include but are not limited to business cards, credit cards, computer and related hardware and software, uniforms, parking, office keys, email address, office, and cell phone. Create and send an internal announcement on the new employee, including a quick introduction to their position and biography.
If appropriate, post a similar announcement on LinkedIn. Welcome signs and company materials presented upon their first day are also opportunities to create a comfortable, inviting, and fun environment.
Critical Reminders throughout the Recruiting Process:
The Best Candidates Get Hired Fast, So Act with Intent and Urgency
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
Results over Process, But ‘Own’ Your Process
Always Provide a Great (Brand) Experience
Much success and have fun. Recruiting, developing, and leading the right people for your organization is rewarding and impactful for all your stakeholders, goals, and mission.